My Birthday Cruise Report – Day 4, Villefranche, France

I woke up early and did a couple of miles walking on the track, then headed into the gym for some strength work and poomsae practice. The latter didn’t get too far because a) I had to keep my shoes on which alters balance and movement when you’re used to doing them barefoot and b) I had only just learned my new form and got confused about parts so I decided better to not do it and essentially start over than to learn it wrong and have to unlearn it.

I had breakfast and headed back to my cabin to get ready for the day.

Oh! I should mention about my cabin! It overlooked the helipad…

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…so it was as far forward as I could possible get! Super cool. But…

I was in there when they dropped anchor (Villefranche is a tender port). I’ll just say I don’t think anyone on my section of that deck was asleep after that if they even had been. We were dropping anchor a little early as well.

(One other note about the cabin… There is a crew recreation area underneath it with an outside section and the door sometimes slammed. I got used to it, but it’s something to be aware of in those forward-facing cabins on Deck 7 of the Radiance Class ships.)

I headed down to wait in line for tender tickets -there was some confusion as to if we needed them as the Cruise Compass said yes, but the cruise director said in the morning show he didn’t think so. But a line grew just in case. It wasn’t long before we’d look around and see crew in whites (or blues) looking at the line, talking on their phones, looking at the line. Like “Um, what is going on here?” Right about 9am the activities director came over and said we didn’t need them. Oops!

A quick trot up on deck for pictures…

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…and then I headed down to get on a tender to shore.

I’d decided I was going to take the bus into Nice and walk around on my own – well, initially I’d had a free walking tour booked, but people on Cruise Critic said there was no way I’d make it for an 11:25 tour.

Well, I walked up to the bus (1.5 euro each way)…

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(this is the start of the walk up)

…and was in Nice before 11!!

But then again, we did anchor and get cleared early, so I might not have made it had we been on time.

I walked towards Old Town and discovered that for 10 euro there was a “train tour” (if you’re familiar with Key West’s Conch Train Tour, it’s similar), so I did that. It was fun, and we stopped at the “castle” for some great views…

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After the tour, I walked into the Market and bought presents for Mom and Andrea – and me because I knew I’d want it too when I got home.

I wanted to give myself plenty of time – and be able to walk around Villefranche a little – so I walked back to the bus stop, stopping at Fenocchio for some gelato on the way (vanilla and lavender! yum!!).

I wandered along the waterfront in Villefranche for a little while…

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And even the pigeons are skinny in France!

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I went and got on the tender back to the ship where I hung out in the Solarium

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pool and hot tub for a little before dinner.

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I did decide to give the production shows a chance – at least try the first one. If you remember my experience on Radiance last summer, you’ll understand why I planted myself on an aisle towards the back so I could bolt easily if necessary. But it wasn’t bad. My biggest complaint was that they had advertised it as sort of a Broadway review and named shows including Mamma Mia! – everything else was done a la the style of the show it was from EXCEPT the stuff that should have been a la Mamma Mia! which was a la an Abba tribute, so it just didn’t fit with the rest of the show. Still, it was passable.

I walked around the deck briefly

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and then headed back to my cabin – where Yara had had fun with my bear and her towel animal

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and got ready for bed after a wonderful day of travel and new experiences!

 

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